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February 22, 2021


[From: BREAKING THE SILENCE, by Goliath & Trench]

OT: Nothing means nothing; style is everything. The art of skillful rhetoric has always been a hobby of mine. I have, however, steered clear of engaging in politics. But it’s not the risk of being the victim of a stray ballot that’s deterred me; it’s the possibility of being the target of a drive-by sliming. Catching that kind of filth is more than even I can stomach. I’ll stick to the hazards of good clean dirt. Besides, I don’t smile enough to be in politics. I’ve spent too much time on The Island.

Fantasy Island?


OT: No, Don’s Island.

Don’s Island. Don Ho, the Hawaiian singer?


OT: Nope. On the island of Don di Vonkaire


ZG: …feeling apathy blow through your hair…

OT: …when the pain comes around…

ZG: …let the rum numb it down…

OT: …and have plenty of enuii to spare.

Should I consider that a kind of philosophy?


ZG: You can call it what you will; I Don di Vonkaire.

I get it. Is this your usual method of composing lyrics?

OT: Sometimes we play tennis like that. He’ll say something and I’ll respond, or the other way ‘round, and we see how long we can keep the rally going…

ZG: I’ll say something clever…

OT: …and I’ll finish the sentence. I can’t let my partner talk trash without tossing my own pesos into Shit River.

Whatever do you mean by that?


OT: Shit River is the drainage canal just outside the main Gate at what used to be the U.S. Navy Base at Subic Bay. You cross over it on the bridge that takes you to Olongopo City on the other side of the ditch. On your way across, you’d always see young girls down in the canal standing in bonka boats wearing prom gowns. They were known as Shit River Queens, or Shit River Virgins. They were 12 to 14 years old; too young to be prostitutes, but old enough to use their femininity to bring home some income for their families. They’d stand in those little outrigger canoes and call up to passers-by, Hey GI, toss me peso. I always obliged when I had spare change. But some guys would deliberately throw their coins into the water. It was called Shit River for a reason, you know. To cope with such left-handed charity, the girls each had their little brothers with them to dive under and retrieve the misdirected alms. I thought it was impolite to do that; I always aimed my pesos precisely.

That was considerate of you.

OT: Right. Now that I’ve been kind enough to explain myself, why not let’s go someplace where we can talk privately. I’m tired of all this chit chat. I’ll give you an exclusive, and relinquish custody of all my secrets. Mr. Goliath is not alone in having studied the sensuous arts.

ZG: Do not allow yourself to be taken in by my colleague’s artful guile. I have long suspected him of being covertly in league with the Devil. Just look at his lecherous eyes and that infectious disease he passes off as a smile. He is Satan’s emissary on earth I tell you, and his virulent contagion will drag your pretty soul to the ninth circle of hell if you don’t take care to maintain the sanctity of your knickers.

OT: Don’t try talking the chicken off of the bone, my friend. It hasn’t even been plucked yet.

I really think we should just stick with the game plan and remain in a public environment.


OT: So, ya wanna play ball, huh? You’d be fun to pitch to, but you’ll have to step into the batter’s box first; I’ll throw some heat, then show you my inside curve.

I’ll be sure to keep my eye on the ball from right here in the safety and comfort of my side of the table. Now, can you describe an experience from your youth that had a particularly strong influence on you?

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